15th September 2020
National land management charity, the Land Trust, is supporting the new policy set out by DEFRA in their England Tree Strategy Consultation. The consultation will inform a new England Tree strategy which will be published by DEFRA later this year. The ambition of the strategy is to significantly increase tree establishment and woodland creation to support nature recovery, clean growth and the commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Trust’s Director of Portfolio Management, Alan Carter, said:
“The period of lockdown introduced to deal with the threat posed by Covid-19 has given the British public a new appreciation for the country’s wonderful green spaces as people were able to use the outdoors for the benefit of their physical and mental wellbeing during this very difficult period.
“The government now needs to look at the next steps to create a greener, cleaner and healthier environment for all which is why we fully support the ambition of this proposed new strategy for tree planting, ensuring everyone has better access to trees and nature. Whilst it is great to plant more trees, the opportunity must not be missed to ensure that people really engage with trees and the wider natural environment, and understand the social value that this releases.
“At the Land Trust we work with property developers across the country to ensure that the green space on a development is considered fully at the outset. The developers we work with understand the value of green infrastructure on their developments, knowing that it adds value to their houses, increases land values and creates more desirable places to live.
“We would encourage all developers to invest in creating new green environments on their developments, but we must ensure that the correct mechanisms are in place to protect and nurture the environmental features to reach their full potential for the longer term. Developers also need the confidence that if they produce a masterplan with wide tree lined boulevards that this will either be adopted by the local authority, or a suitable financially sustainable management regime put in place for the long-term.”
The Land Trust currently manages green space on behalf of 4,500 homeowners at nine property developments across the country. In 2019-20, for the first time, the charity was able to measure the value created by their management of the green spaces within these developments with nearly £2.5 million of economic and social value delivered.
“At the Land Trust we have a strong track record of maintaining green infrastructure to a very high standard. However our placekeeping philosophy is about more than just cutting the grass and picking up litter. It’s about engaging with our communities and the people who live and work around our sites, to turn houses into home and neighbours into friends.
“The results of our economic and social value model, developed in partnership with AMION Consulting, highlighted the positive impact that green spaces have, not only on people who live within the development but on the wider economy.
“At a time when our economy is in recovery an investment in green infrastructure provides a guaranteed return and we look forward to seeing the strategy in more detail when it is published later this year.”
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